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6 Key Supplements for Athletic Performance Enhancement

There has been much research about endurance nutrition during racing. However, there has been little suggested for the recovery phase of training. This is one of the most important and least addressed aspects of training in all genre’s of competition. Recovery is very important and as noted it often overlooked by athletes and coaches alike.  The athletes main focus is on race day for what to eat and drink calculated down to the minute on when to take it during their race. The athlete rarely focus’ on the recovery supplements which will allow them to recover more efficiently while repairing the muscle tearing from training and the oxidation effects of energy expenditure. These key supplements have been shown to aid and speed recovery time for endurance athletes: D-Ribose, Co-enzyme Q10, broad spectrum antioxidants, beta alanine, Creatine and HMB.

All six of these supplements have been shown to speed the recovery time of athletes while increasing energy production, decreasing oxidative stress (free radicals), increasing oxygen consumption, preventing DNA damage, increasing immune function and speeding muscle recovery. The real benefits from these supplements are the above noted effects. These greatly speed recovery time from workout to workout. The more an athlete trains the more of these supplements they require. Dosages would vary per type and length of activity but higher levels of CoQ10, antioxidants and D-ribose are needed for longer activities. Beta-alanine creates an environment in which the body is optimal in energy production. Creatine does work well in producing top end bursts of work. Finally, HMB is returning to be an excellent supplement that prevents and speeds recovery from muscle fiber breakage during workouts. It’s function is to speed the repair of the muscle fiber to allow better strength and endurance gains.

If you are an athlete, of any sport, you should seriously consider adding these to your nutritional plan in order to give you that edge that for outcompeting the competition.

Athletes Recover Faster with Acupuncture

With Ironman just around the corner triathletes are in their last ditch effort to increase their endurance and delay “the wall.” During this time, and while tapering training, many have learned that acupuncture in a couple specific points allows them to increase their endurance while delaying their muscle fatigue point. These treatments combined with care for any health or physical issue that may be occurring decreases recovery time and allows the triathlete to perform longer without fatigue. Recovery is a key at this point in training to prevent injury and increase aerobic capacity.

Athletes that have acupuncture and cupping done weekly, if not twice weekly during the last 6 weeks prior to race day, report better stamina and less post workout muscle fatigue. They are able to go longer, harder and faster than when they did not have acupuncture done. Research is now substantiating those anecdotal claims stated by athletes. Two research articles were published in the last few years documenting the effects of acupuncture on decreasing muscle fatigue and improving running times and pulse rates. In one article the group receiving acupuncture their point of muscle fatigue was delayed significantly over the non-acupuncture group and control group. The results demonstrated that with two simple points being treated that the endurance of the muscle group tested became far superior to the group with no treatment. Thus showing that acupuncture can and does delays the onset of muscle fatigue so an athlete can perform longer without fatigue. The other article looked at running times at 5000 meters at 75% maximum pulse rate. It compared three groups control, placebo and treatment group. The group with acupuncture showed improved running times each run (hence faster runs), improved heart rate recovery (faster return to normal heart rate) and overall recovery.

These articles show something that acupuncture has shown for centuries, endurance and recovery improves with its use. For my athletes that have acupuncture they  improve recovery times and feel better while training than without it. If you are wanting that specific edge that really does work, get Acupuncture!